Thomas W. Walker Sr., 87, of Mentor, passed away on June 10, 2011, at Hospice of the Western Reserve in Euclid.
Born Nov. 27, 1923, in Mansfield, Ohio, he was the son of Mary E. (Bauer) and William J. Walker.
Mr. Walker served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. After enlisting in October 1942, he received his basic training at Parris Island, S.C. Upon completion, he left Norfolk, Va., on board the ship Henry T. Allen, traveling through the Panama Canal to the South Pacific, where he joined the first Marine Raider Battalion Company C in 1943 and served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater until 1945. He received four Battle Stars for action seen in New Georgia, Emirau, Guam and Okinawa. He returned home Oct. 11, 1945, with the Sixth Marine Division after action on Okinawa and it was announced that Japan had surrendered.
A 38-year resident of Madison, he was a member of the American Legion Post 601 Auxiliary, and a member of the Immaculate Conception Church.
He enjoyed gardening, RV camping, traveling and fishing. Since the age of 7, his most favorite hobby was making balsa wood airplanes, a love that would continue for the rest of his life. He also loved the outdoors and spending time with his family. His beautiful blue eyes and wonderful smile will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Claire A. Campbell, on Nov. 10, 1945, and returned to his job at J&L LTV Steel Company and retired after 32 years of service. He also worked as a part-time maintenance man at McDonald’s in Madison and the NEO Hospital.
He is survived by his son, Thomas W. (Cindy) Walker Jr. of Eastlake; daughter, Christine (John) Trusty of Mentor; granddaughter Shannon (Ryan) Herda of Mentor; great-granddaughters, Shealyn Marie, and McKayla Claire Herda; sister-in-law, Donna Walker of Madison; nieces, Barbara G. Walker of Madison, and Robin (Tim) DeMay of St. Petersburg, Fla.; great-niece, Angela M. (Brian) Niehaus of Cincinnati; great-great-nieces, Mia and Ella Niehaus; great-nephew, Patrick DeMay of Willowick; and cousins, Michael J. Bauer of Painesville, and Charlotte Bauer of South Euclid.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife of 63 years, Claire; his brother, Robert S. Walker Sr. and nephew, Robert S. Walker Jr.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 16, 2011, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 2846 Hubbard Road in Madison, with the Rev. Sean Donnelly officiating.
Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, 2011, at the Behm Family Funeral Home, 26 River St. in Madison.
Final resting place will be at Madison Memorial Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 300 E. 185th St., Cleveland, OH 44119.